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January 17, 2014


capital Today's Congressional Action:   

The House will consider non-Arctic legislation. The Senate will continue consideration of legislation to fund government operations through the end of the fiscal year.






budget Omnibus Sails Through the Senate. The allure of recess won out Thursday as senators sped up the timeline and cleared a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. Passage completes the process on Capitol Hill of keeping the government funded through the end of the fiscal year at the end of September. Appropriators completed a rather herculean lift of getting all 12 regular appropriation bills included in the package, and then guided the bill through the House and Senate less than 72 hours after revealing it to the public. Roll Call


Commission Co-Chairs Create Package of Arctic Policy Legislation. The Alaska Senate Majority issued the following news release: The Co-Chairs of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission (AAPC), Senator Lesil McGuire (R-Anchorage) and Representative Bob Herron (D-Bethel) are preparing to head to Juneau for the 2014 legislative session armed with an Arctic legislation package. The package will include two bills aimed at infrastructure: an Arctic investment bill and House Bill 165, already introduced by Rep. Herron, creating an Arctic Port Authority. Additionally, the co-chairs will introduce a resolution speaking to the upcoming U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. TMCnet


More Negotiations on Mackerel Quotas Underway. Efforts continue to bring an end to the fisheries disputes between Iceland, the Faroe Islands and the EU, now in its fifth month. The European Commission, which in September imposed sanctions on the Faroes as part of a dispute over fishing quotas, said in a statement this week that it was hopeful "all reasonable expectations of the four parties (the EU, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Norway) can now be met, so as to allow them to reach a fair and balanced agreement on the sharing of the mackerel stock." Arctic Journal


Wolves Court Calls Off Wolf Hunt in Sweden Once Again. The licensed wolf hunt planned for February this year will not take place, after a decision in an administrative court, reports Swedish news agency TT. The court ruled in favor of environmental organizations, which had appealed a decision to allow 30 wolves to be culled next month. Alaska Dispatch


Only Arctic Nations Can Claim Northern Wealth, Harper Tells the Globe. Stephen Harper says the Arctic should be the domain of countries with territory there and he would oppose efforts to grant influence to outsiders in a region attracting growing global attention amid climate change and the hunt for resource riches. Globe and Mail


General Cleaning of Russian Arctic, a New Stage. The Soviet Union has left more than 100,000 tons of garbage on islands and the sea coast of the Arctic. It mainly consists of abandoned military equipment, numerous ruined buildings and constructions, thousands upon thousands of rusty barrels with residues of fuel and other technical liquids, and just piles of scrap metal. In 2011 Russia started a federal program on cleaning the Arctic zone. The whole project includes nearly all the polar regions of Russia and will extend as far as 2020. The impressive sum of 1,420,000,000 rubles has been spent already on the Arctic cleaning in the past three years. Barents Nova


Coast Guard Seal New Cutters, Arctic Presence Top USCG Priority List. Continued upgrades to the cutter fleet, further development of an Arctic strategy and the selection of new leadership are at the top of the U.S. Coast Guard's to-do list in 2014, Vice Adm. Rob Parker, the service's Atlantic Area commander, said Thursday. Parker gave the annual Coast Guard update at the Surface Navy Association's symposium outside Washington, D.C., filling in for outgoing commandant Adm. Bob Papp, who delivered the address at the three previous meetings during his tenure. Defense News

Legislative Actionfutureevents  


The Senate agreed to the House amendments to a bill to fund government operations through the end of the fiscal year.

Future Events


Arctic Frontiers, January 19-24, 2014 (Tromso, Norway). Arctic Frontiers is an international arena addressing development in the Arctic. The conference discusses how upcoming opportunities and challenges may be handled to ensure viable economic growth and societal and environmental sustainability. Annually, the conference attracts more than 1000 participants from 25 Arctic and non-arctic countries, representing science, business, politics, and civil society. The theme of the conference is 'Humans in the Arctic'. As with previous years the policy section will run for the first two days, followed by three days of science. The science section will have four parts under 2 main headings: Health, Society and Environment; and, Maritime Operational Challenges. 


Alaska Marine Science Symposium, January 20-24, 2014 (Anchorage, Alaska). The mission of the Alaska Marine Science Symposium is to bring together scientists, policymakers, students, educators, media and the public to share research findings focused on Alaska's marine fisheries and ecosystems. The Symposium is built around regional themes-Bering Sea, Arctic Ocean, and the Gulf of Alaska. Within each theme, there will be discussions on climate, oceanography, lower tropic levels, the benthos, fishes and invertebrates, seabirds, marine mammals, local and traditional knowledge, and socioeconomic research.


The agenda is available here.


Building Climate Solutions, January 28-30, 2014. (Washington, DC) The conference is organized by the National Council and Environment with the assistance of a variety of partnering organizations. The conference is expected to engage over 1,200 key individuals from many fields of sciences and engineering, government and policy, business and civil society to advance solutions to climate change.The conference will be organized around two areas: [1] The Built Environment; and, [2] Agriculture and Natural Resources. Under these two themes, 24 tracks connect the conference to specific initiatives led by partnering organizations that advance solutions. In this manner, participants will engage with and have lasting impact on real world responses to climate change. 


The Arctic Encounter Symposium, February 7-8, 2014 (Seattle, Washington). The goal of the Arctic Encounter Symposium is to engage participants in a focused discussion, through a balanced forum, highlighting shared interests and concerns of the United States and the global community as we look north to the last emerging frontier - the Arctic. The Symposium will incorporate a diverse group of leaders and experts to debate how a rapidly changing Arctic will impact international law, domestic policy, business and commerce, the environment, and the people of the Far North. Speakers include policy makers, industry leaders, scientists, and academic experts. The two-day Symposium will take place at Seattle University School of Law with a dinner reception at the Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59. US Arctic Research commissioners Fran Ulmer and Edward Itta will be speaking.

Arctic Technology Conference, February 10-12, 2014. (Houston, TX) Founded in 1969, the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) provides offshore resources in the fields of drilling, exploration, production and environmental protection. The Arctic Technology Conference (ATC) is built upon OTC's successful multidisciplinary approach, with 14 technical societies and organizations. The conference is an international event focused on continuing innovative technologies and solutions needed for exploration and production of energy within the circum-Arctic.


Arctic Ambitions, February 27-28, 2014 (Girdwood, Alaska). World Trade Center Alaska will host Arctic Ambitions III: Commercial Development of the Arctic. This conference focuses solely on Arctic international trade and business opportunities. It is anticipated that about 200 business and government leaders attending next year's conference.

Arctic Ambitions III will concentrate on the theme of international trade and business opportunities that flow from resource development in the Arctic. While policy and research inform the discussion, the conference focuses on global markets, international trade and logistics. The previous two conferences brought together presenters from Canada, Finland, Norway, Russia, Korea and Alaska. USARC Chair Fran Ulmer will be a speaker. 


Arctic 2050, March 12, 2014 (Brussels, Belgium). The 4th European Marine Board Forum will bring together Arctic stakeholders from multiple sectors (science, industry, policy & governance, NGOs, etc.) to: discuss current trends and patterns of change in Arctic Ocean ecosystems, including human activity; identify possible "2050" scenarios for Arctic Change and the corresponding implications for human health and well-being; highlight key research gaps, needs and challenges in support of understanding, mitigating against, or adapting to Arctic change; stimulate dialogue across sectors to aid common understanding, collaborative actions and sustainability targets; promote a vision for a sustainable ecosystem-based management of the Arctic Ocean by 2050.


44th Annual International Arctic Workshop, March 14-16, 2014 (Boulder, CO). The Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research of the University of Colorado will host the workshop. This year's theme is "Arctic's New Normal." The workshop will consider shifting environmental baselines over decades to millennia and comparisons with the Antarctic. Previous Workshops have included presentations on Arctic and Antarctic climate, atmospheric chemistry, environmental geochemistry, paleoenvironment, archeology, geomorphology, hydrology, glaciology, soils, ecology, oceanography, Quaternary history and more.


Association of American Geographers Polar Geography Sessions, April 8-12, 2014 (Tampa, Florida).  Polar Geography Sessions are being planned in areas such as Sustainable Development in the Arctic, Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic, etc. Contact Scott Stephenson ( for more information, and see attached flyer. 


Arctic Science Summit Week April 5-8, 2014 and Arctic Observing Summit, April 9-11 (Helsinki, Finland). ASSW is a gathering for Arctic research organizations. Any organization engaged in supporting and facilitating arctic research is welcome to participate. The ASSW meeting in 2014 will be arranged during April 5-8 in Helsinki Kumpula Campus, in the facilities of FMI and Physics Department of the University of Helsinki. Second circular here


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